How COVID-19 Damages The Cardiac Tissues Revealed!

cardiac tissues

The researchers at the University of Queensland discovered how COVID-19 damages the heart. Their discovery has opened doors to future treatments. The initial cohort study revealed that COVID-19 damaged the DNA of the cardiac tissues. Moreover, it was not detected by the researchers in the samples of influenza.

Dr. Arutha Kulasinghe, a researcher at UQ Diamantina Institute said that although COVID-19 and influenza are both severe respiratory viruses, they have different effects on cardiac tissues.

She said,

In comparison to the 2009 flu pandemic, COVID has led to more severe and long-term cardiovascular disease but what was causing that at a molecular level wasn’t known

During our study, we couldn’t detect viral particles in the cardiac tissues of COVID-19 patients, but what we found was tissue changes associated with DNA damage and repair.

She further added,

DNA damage and repair mechanisms foster genomic instability and are related to chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, atherosclerosis and neurodegenerative disorders, so understanding why this is happening in COVID-19 patients is important.

Furthermore, the data associated with how COVID-19 impacts the heart has been limited to psychological measurements and biological biomarkers previously. Since obtaining a biopsy of the heart is an invasive procedure.

The study gave an in-depth insight by using cardiac tissues collected during autopsies of seven COVID-19 patients in Brazil, two influenza death patients, and six control patients.

John Fraser, Professor UQ, the person behind establishing the international COVID-19 Critical Care Consortium, said the findings revealed how the virus impacts the body in contrast to other respiratory tract viruses.

He said,

When we looked at the influenza cardiac tissue samples, we identified that it caused excess inflammation,

Whereas we found COVID-19 attacked the heart’s DNA—probably directly and not just as a knock-on from inflammation.

He further added,

Our study has highlighted that the two viruses appear to affect cardiac tissue very differently, which we want to get a better understanding of in larger cohort studies.

What we have categorically shown is that COVID is not ‘just like the flu.’ This study helps us understand how COVID-19 affects that heart, and that is the first step in working out what treatments might be best to repair that heart.”


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